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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Theorem")

directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini

Italy 1968

One of the iconoclastic Pier Paolo Pasolini’s most radical provocations, Teorema finds the auteur moving beyond the poetic, proletarian earthiness that first won him renown and notoriety with a coolly cryptic exploration of bourgeois spiritual emptiness. Terence Stamp stars as the mysterious stranger—perhaps an angel, perhaps a devil—who, one by one, seduces the members of a wealthy Milanese family (including European cinema icons Silvana Mangano, Massimo Girotti, Laura Betti, and Anne Wiazemsky), precipitating an existential crisis in each of their lives. Unfolding nearly wordlessly in a procession of sacred and profane images, this tantalizing metaphysical riddle—blocked from exhibition by the Catholic Church for degeneracy—is at once a blistering Marxist treatise on sex, religion, and art and a primal scream into the void.

***

A handsome, enigmatic stranger (Terence Stamp) arrives at a bourgeois household in Milan and successfully seduces each family member, not forgetting the maid. Then, as abruptly and mysteriously as he arrive, he departs. Unable to endure the void left in their lives, the father (Massimo Girotti) hands over his factory to the workers, the son abandons his vocation as a painter, the mother (Silvana Mangano) abandons herself to random sexual encounters, and the daughter sinks into catatonia. The maid (Laura Betti, Best Actress, Venice 1968), however, becomes a saint.

***

In Theorem, Pasolini achieved his most perfect fusion of Marxism and religion with a film that is both political allegory and mystical fable. Terence Stamp plays the mysterious Christ or Devil figure who stays briefly with a wealthy Italian family, seducing them one by one. He then goes as quickly as he had come, leaving their whole life-pattern in ruins. What would be pretentious and strained in the hands of most directors, with Pasolini takes on an intense air of magical revelation. In fact, the superficially improbable plot retains all the logic and certainty of a detective story. With bizarre appropriateness, it was one of the last films made by Stamp before he virtually disappeared from the international film scene for some years.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

***

"Teorema is Pasolini's meditation on lack of communication and understanding among bourgeoisie.  It's his "Discreet alienation of the bourgeoisie", if you will. The film is full of allegory images, that some find too pretentious. The eccentric Italian director's atmospheric tale of a prominent, dysfunctional Milanese family which engineers its own destruction when a spiritually minded stranger moves in on them."

Gregory Meshman

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 4th, 1968 - Venice Film Festival

Reviews                                                                        More Reviews                                                  DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL vs. Films Sans Frontieres - Region 2 - PAL vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

DVD Screenshots courtesy of Per-Olof Strandberg, Gregory Meshman and Pavel Borodin !

1) Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT

2) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Films sans Frontieres - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

Koch Lorber

Region 0 - NTSC

BFI

Region 2 - PAL

Films Sans Frontieres
Region 2 - PAL
BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:37:57 1:34:15 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:34:06 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:38:14.000 1:38:42.750
Video

1:1.85 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.80 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1:1.85 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced  
Average Bitrate: 8.30 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen 
Average Bitrate: 5.40 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,196,259,299 bytes

Feature: 32,576,262,144 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Average Bitrate: 36.99 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,614,003,522 bytes

Feature: 29,563,103,232 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Average Bitrate: 35.37 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Koch

 

Bitrate:

BFI

 

 

Bitrate:

Films Sans Frontieres

 

Bitrate BFI:

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate Criterion:

Blu-ray

 

Audio Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0) Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary: LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

LPCM Audio Italian 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
DUB:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None English, None French and none English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Koch Lorber

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.85

Edition Details:
• Pasolini and Death: A Purely Intellectual Thriller (52:30 / 1:1.66 / 4:3)

DVD Release Date: October 4, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 13

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.85

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Robert Gordon

• Interview with Terence Stamp

• 14-page liner notes booklet

DVD Release Date: September 24th, 2007
Keep Case
Chapters: 14

Release Information:
Studio: Films Sans Frontieres

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen- 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Filmography

DVD Release Date: 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 5

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Aspect Ratio: 1:1.85

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,196,259,299 bytes

Feature: 32,576,262,144 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Average Bitrate: 36.99 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Robert Gordon

• Trailer

• 14-page liner notes booklet Fully illustrated booklet with essay by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, review by Philip Strick and biographies of Pasolini and Stamp

ON PAL DVD included:

• Interview with Terence Stamp (33:14)

Blu-ray Release Date: May 27th, 2013
Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 14

Release Information:
Studio:
Criterion

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,614,003,522 bytes

Feature: 29,563,103,232 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Average Bitrate: 35.37 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

Alternate English-dubbed soundtrack, featuring the voice of actor Terence Stamp and others
Audio commentary from 2007 featuring Robert S. C. Gordon, author of Pasolini: Forms of Subjectivity
Introduction by director Pier Paolo Pasolini from 1969 (2:37)
Interview from 2007 with Stamp (33:13)
New interview with John David Rhodes, author of Stupendous, Miserable City: Pasolini’s Rome (16:41)
PLUS: An essay by film scholar James Quandt


Blu-ray Release Date:
February 18th, 2020
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 28

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray - January 2020': WOW! We love when there are differences. The Criterion is described as a "New, restored 4K digital transfer". I'm going to plead total ignorance as to how Pasolini's Teorema looked theatrically. I am going to do some research, but can't, at present, be sure which image is closest to the way the film was shown originally. The Criterion Blu-ray image is significantly brighter, has a teal/green leaning and shows a shade less information in the frame on the right and bottom edge (sometimes a bit more on the left edge). I happen to like the, very grain-heavy, HD presentation - it shows much more detail - I just have to get used to the color shift having seen the BFI for years.  

On their Blu-ray, Criterion use a linear PCM 1.0 channel mono track (24-bit) in the original Italian language. Criterion include a lossy English DUB (with Terence Stamp and others). The score is by the great Ennio Morricone (Who Saw Her Die The Black Belly of the Tarantula, The Fifth Cord, Luna, A Bullet for the General, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, U Turn, Stay As You Are etc. etc.) and it is authentically flat but carries a modicum of depth is spots. Criterion offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Criterion Blu-ray includes the same audio commentary from 2007 featuring Robert S. C. Gordon, author of Pasolini: Forms of Subjectivity - that is on the 2007 BFI DVD and 2001 BFI Blu-ray. His comments remain revealing and he provides some keen insight into the film and Pasolini. There is a brief introduction by director Pier Paolo Pasolini that was first broadcast on February 8,1969, where the director responds to questions from journalist Cecile Philippe about his film Teorema. There is the same 1/2 hour interview from 2007 with Stamp (also on other editions) plus a new 16-minute interview with John David Rhodes, author of Stupendous Miserable City: Pasolini’s Rome. In this interview, shot by the Criterion Collection in 2019, the film scholar discusses Teorema with revealing depth. The package has a liner notes booklet with an essay by film scholar James Quandt.

As I, always, state - we love 'differences' and this gave me a whole new viewing experience. One I, truly, embraced. The film gets better with age. I urge all Pasolini fans to see Criterion's new restored 4K-transfer 1080P presentation and re-gauge the impact of the film. WOW - again! 

Gary Tooze  

***

ADDITION: BFI - Region 'B' Blu-ray - May 2013': The new 1080P  is a significant improvement over the DVD - even the strong BFI one from 2007. Contrast borders on saturation, and textured grain is far more apparent but the image is extremely dark (which may be authentic?!). This Blu-ray is dual-layered and the bitrate more than 4X that of the best SD transfer. The sepia-style shots in the opening are much more film-like (notice the title sequences above). Overall this is a beauty - with only a few minor speckles from total perfection.

Audio offers original Italian or an English DUB - both via lossless linear PCM 2.0 channel tracks and there are optional English subtitles on the region 'B'-locked disc.

Extras duplicate the BFI DVD with the excellent Robert Gordon commentary and the Blu-ray also offers a 2013 Re-Release trailer. There is a DVD included that seems to be a copy of the 2007 one with commentary, trailer and 1/2 hour Terrence Stamp interview.

Super Blu-ray package from BFI - I was very keen to see the new image and watch with the uncompressed audio. 

***

ADDITION: BFI - Region 2 - PAL Sept 07': Finally - this is the strongest image by a wide margin - the screen captures tell the story below. It is rich, dark at times but colors have a vibrancy and detail is vastly improved.  There is some movement in the frame with all three editions. The progressive, anamorphic and dual-layered BFI DVD has Italian audio and optional English subtitles.

Extras include a half hour interview with Terence Stamp and an excellent commentary by Italian Film expert Robert Gordon who is precise and professional in his manner - a great listen as his knowledge is extensive (as good as any commentarist I've heard this year). Included is a fully illustrated 14-page booklet including an essay by Italian film expert Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, review by Philip Strick from 1969 and biographies of Pasolini and Stamp.

No contest - the BFI is the best! 

***

ADDITION: Koch Lorber - Region 0 NTSC Dec 05'- The Image in the Koch Lorber DVD is very similar to the BFI, although the Koch Lorber is anamorphic. The picture in this DVD is fairly good, even though there is a lack of detail, and the picture is quite pale.

The Italian soundtrack is clean, although made from an optical source, there's in the end and beginning of every film reel some dirt (popping). The sound on my system was at a very low level.

For some strange reason the sound in the documentary Pasolini and Death: A Purely Intellectual Thriller is overdubbed in English. A very odd decision, when many parts of the documentary are basically an interview.

These seems to be the only English subtitled DVD of the film. The subtitles on the Koch Lorber DVD are yellow.

 - Per-Olof Strandberg


 Menus

Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC
 



(BFI - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Films sans Frontieres - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 
 
 

 

BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

DVD (included with the Blu-ray)

 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE BELOW TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Samples

1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Films sans Frontieres - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Films sans Frontieres - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Films sans Frontieres - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Films sans Frontieres - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Films sans Frontieres - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Films sans Frontieres - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Criterion Blu-ray Captures

 

 

More BFI Blu-ray Captures

 

 


Hit Counter


 Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

Koch Lorber

Region 0 - NTSC

BFI

Region 2 - PAL

Films Sans Frontieres
Region 2 - PAL
BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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